Former Vice President Joe Biden has retaken the lead in the Democratic primary race for president as Senator Elizabeth Warren's numbers have plummeted, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll.
Biden receives 24 percent of the vote among Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic, while South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg gets 16 percent, Warren receives 14 percent, and Sen. Bernie Sanders gets 13 percent.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who just entered the race, receives 3 percent as do Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Sen. Cory Booker, businessman Andrew Yang, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, and Sen. Michael Bennet each receive 2 percent. No other candidate tops one percent. Eleven percent are undecided.
In an October 24 poll, Warren received 28 percent, Biden had 21 percent, Sanders was at 15 percent, and Buttigieg got 10 percent.
"Biden is back on top of the pack but now there is a 3-way race for second. Buttigieg has broken into the top tier, apparently at the expense of Warren, who has taken a dive after being hammered for being too far left on health care and other issues," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
When voters were asked their second choice, Warren came out ahead with 20 percent, Biden got 12 percent, Sanders got 11 percent, and Buttigieg received 10 percent.
Biden continues to dominate on electability, as almost half, 46 percent, of Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic view him as the candidate who has the best chance of winning against Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, while Warren and Sanders get 10 percent each, and 6 percent say Buttigieg. In the October 24 poll, 42 percent said Biden was the most electable, while 20 percent said Warren, 14 percent said Sanders, and 2 percent said Buttigieg. While Biden's numbers haven't changed much on this measure, this is the biggest drop for Warren among the various candidate qualities asked about.
In today's poll, a plurality, 35 percent, say someone who can win the general election in 2020 is the most important candidate quality in deciding who to vote for in the Democratic primary for president, with 19 percent each for "honesty" and "cares about people like you," 18 percent saying "good leadership skills," and 5 percent saying "intelligence."
A plurality, 26 percent, say health care is the most important issue to their vote, while 21 percent say climate change, and 14 percent say the economy. Health care is an issue which helps Biden, as he gets the vote of 27 percent of those who list health care as their most important issue, followed by Sanders at 19 percent and Warren and Buttigieg at 14 percent each. Climate change is a good issue for Buttigieg as he gets 27 percent of those who say climate change is their most important issue, while Warren gets 18 percent, Sanders has 15 percent, and Biden receives 13 percent.
There is more support among Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic for allowing people to buy into Medicare than replacing the current system with Medicare for All, although both are popular among these voters. While 71 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners think it is a good idea to allow all adults the option of buying into Medicare, 59 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners think it is a good idea to remove the current health care system and replace it with a single payer system.
Medicare for All has grown increasingly unpopular among all American voters, as 36 percent say it is a good idea and 52 percent say it is a bad idea. In a March 26, 2019 poll, 43 percent said good idea, while 45 percent said bad idea. The highest support came in an August 3, 2017 poll when voters said it was a good idea 51 - 38 percent.
As the Democratic candidates debate over the direction of the party, only 14 percent of Democrats and independent voters who lean Democratic say that President Obama was "not liberal enough," while 80 percent say he was "about right."
President Trump and Impeachment
Two weeks of public impeachment hearings in the news haven't hurt President Trump's popularity among American voters. While 40 percent of all registered voters approve of the job President Trump is doing, 54 percent disapprove. This compares to a 38 - 58 percent approval rating in an October 23 poll, and falls within the range of where his job approval rating has been over about the last two years.
The country remains closely divided on whether to impeach and remove President Trump from office. While 45 percent of American voters think President Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 48 percent don't think he should be. In an October 23 poll, 48 percent thought he should be impeached and removed and 46 percent didn't think so.
"The televised impeachment hearings haven't had much of an effect on the president's approval rating, or how voters feel about impeachment. The numbers still don't look good for Trump, but they definitely haven't gotten worse," Malloy added.
Voter opinion on impeachment will be difficult to move as 86 percent say their mind is made up, while only 13 percent say they might change their mind. Among those who think the president should be impeached and removed from office, 8 percent say they might change their mind, while among those who think the president should not be impeached and removed from office, 17 percent say they might change their mind.
While 50 percent think that the impeachment inquiry is a legitimate investigation, 43 percent think it is a political witch hunt. Nonetheless, 76 percent of American voters think that the Trump administration should fully cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, while 18 percent don't think so.
American voters are paying attention to the news about impeachment as 59 percent say they are paying a lot of attention and 27 percent say they are paying some attention, while only 14 percent say they are paying little or no attention.
Nearly half of American voters, 49 percent, believe that President Trump held up military aid to Ukraine because he wanted the Ukrainian president to announce investigations that would benefit Trump politically, while 40 percent don't believe that.
From November 21 - 25, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,355 self-identified registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points, including the design effect. The survey includes 574 Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points, including the design effect.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts gold standard surveys using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones. The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts nationwide surveys and polls in more than a dozen states on national and statewide elections, as well as public policy issues.
See table here (https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=3650).